Heat pump vs. Propane (& back-up generator)

I have a home in Eastern Pennsylvania (near Philadelphia, PA) and it has a central HVAC that has an electric heat pump for heat. There is no natural gas supply to the house or in the neighborhood.
What I am wondering is whether there would be advantages to switching to propane gas heat (cost or other advantages). I was also thinking that in the event of an extended electric power failure in the winter, if I had a propane powered backup generator, I could use the propane to generate electricity for lights etc. and to power the home's propane gas heater motor to keep the house heated.
Just wondering what others think of this idea.
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DA had written this in response to http://thestuccocompany.com/maintenance/Heat-pump-vs-Propane-back-up-generator-275410-.htm : BETA-32 wrote:

Yeap, I lost power and heat last Sunday, too. My line of thought was to get a propane-powered generator rather than a propane heater because this is more like a fluke in this climate. Either way, it is a rather big expense and it looks like may not be justifiable: it happened for the first time I live in this house and may not happen again until I move to the next.
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Sounds expensive. First step is to do a cost comparison between electric and propane in your area to see what, if any, the cost advantage is.
How often and how long are power outages? Every time I see one of those little Honda generators I think it would be nice to have in a power failure. Fact is, in my entire 62 years we've only ever had an outage lasting more than two hours one time after a hurricane. That was about 24 hours out. Given the past record, I'll take my chances. OTOH, if you have frequent and long outages, it would sure be nice to have a generator. We don't know your circumstances.
--
Ed
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all it takes is one multi day outage in sub zero temperatures.
remember years ago power companies had large well staffed repair departments with lots of line crews.
what remains today is a skelton crew, and mutual aid from other areas when things go bad
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In NYS, the ice storm we had in 2003 left me without power four days. I finally wired in the generator to the furnace on day four, and wished I'd done so sooner.
Like you say, the staffing levels aren't very good for repairs. I would guess most of Oklahoma is still dark.
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Christopher A. Young
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On Dec 20, 8:30 am, "Stormin Mormon"

Look into a small 5000w or so Tri fuel generator, Ng, Propane and Gasolene and a 400$ transfer switch. Converting to Propane from electric depends on your local fuel and utility costs, I dought it would have a good payback
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If only you could get a snowblower with a optional generator add-on or built on with a switch. Then the pruchase of it could be justified.
imagine that! one motor doing 2 things! cln
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There are less than 8,000 without power statewide. There may be a few more where the home owner has to do some repairs before power can be restored to the home.
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Jim Rusling
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DA had written this in response to http://www.thestuccocompany.com/maintenance/Re-Heat-pump-vs-Propane-back-up-generator-275418-.htm : Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Thank you for bringing THIS much experience to the table here, Ed ;-) I do agree with the OP that it is a rather scare thing to have no means of heating or even brewing a cup of coffee every once in a while but in the climate where he and I live it is extremely rare. Not sure what change the global warming might bring but so far a generator seems even less useful than a snowblower. The latter may actually have to used two or three times a year.
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Maybe keep the heat pump and add a propane fireplace that could provide atmosphere at other times. A small generator could be useful for other projects as well as providing backup during outages. Cheapest is to take a mini vacation.
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We had a 3 1/2 day power outage last April. I used the generator to operate the water pump (well) and the furnace for hot water when needed. A propane space heater provided heat. I didn't use the generator to run the refrigerator because the cost of gasoline would have been much greater than the cost of replacing the frozen food that thawed. I have a backup battery/alternator system for lights.
---MIKE---

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With propane, you can also power wall heaters. Some in the $150 range at Harbor Freight. And propane fueled stove.
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Christopher A. Young
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